WISENET (Women in ICTs Shared Excellence Network) is a convening platform that aims to leverage the experience, resources and connections of the international ICT community to better the situation of women, their communities and their countries. The platform will include the redesigned blog, news, events, and research.

WISENET is a key part of the International Bureau’s Women’s Initiative: Going Mobile and Connecting Women. Through the Initiative, we hope to collaborate on how to best use ICTs for development and motivate women to pursue careers in technology.

Neither the Women’s Initiative nor WISENET are static; we are actively seeking ideas to make it relevant and useful. We expect it to grow and change to respond to developments in ICTs. If you have any ideas on how to improve this platform, please contact us at wisenet@fcc.gov

Recent News

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  • FCC Celebrates Girls in ICT Day

    The FCC is hosting a Twitter chat in honor of International Girls in Information and Communication Technology Day.

  • Third Symposium on Gender in Media

    Los Angeles, CA

    The mission of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media is to dramatically improve the representation and portrayals of female characters in entertainment targeting children 11 and under. The Symposium brings together over 300 leading entertainment and media CEOs, directors, writers, producers, corporations and organizations.

  • Girls, Women and ICT Conference

    Amsterdam IBM and VHTO

    On International Women's Day IBM and VHTO organized a conference on girls, women and ICT. Marja van Bijsterveldt, Minister of Education, Culture and Science will be present.

  • Girls and ICT Day

    New York City, NY ITU

    Despite the obvious benefits, many girls never even consider a career in ICTs. There is a lack of awareness among students, teachers and parents on what a career in ICT could offer. Attitudes can change when girls are invited into companies and government agencies to meet ICT professionals and see what life is like on the job.

  • Women and Girls in ICT

    Geneva ITU

    This year's theme, 'Women and Girls in ICT', highlights the role technology can play in empowering women worldwide. As part of the event, ITU will present the annual World Telecommunication and Information Society Award to three eminent personalities who have contributed to leveraging the catalytic role of ICTs in creating far-reaching opportunities for women and girls, helping eliminate gender disparities and empowering them to reach their goals and aspirations.

  • #AskAg Twitter Chat

    Online Event USAID

    Ask & Answer: The Women's Empowerment in Agriculture Index. The "Women's Empowerment in Agriculture Index" (WEAI) is the first measure to directly capture women's empowerment and inclusion levels in the agricultural sector. The WEAI focuses on five areas: decisions over agricultural production, power over productive resources such as land and livestock, decisions over income, leadership in the community, and time use.

  • Get Online Week

    Brussels, Belgium European Commission

    Highlights the continuing demand for skilled ICT users and professionals to drive a competitive and innovative Europe. This exciting campaign seeks to inform students, young professionals and SMEs about the range of opportunities that ICT-related jobs present.

  • Promoting ICTs for Women and Girls in Africa

    Zambia Anakazi

    Join us on Saturday April 21, 9am PST, 17hrs GMT and 18hrs CAT as we speak to the Director General of the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) Mrs. Margaret Chalwe-Mudenda about the revolution in information and communication technologies (ICTs) and its vast implications for the developing world.

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  • ICT Initiatives, Women and Work in Developing Countries: Reinforcing or Changing Gender Inequalities in South India?

    Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are increasingly used by developing countries in strategies that see the new technology as having the potential to deliver economic growth, employment, skills generation and empowerment. This paper argues that ICTs as a form of new technology are socially deterministic, with varied implications for women in terms of employment and empowerment dependent on the context within which the ICTs are utilised.

  • Because I Am a Girl: The State of the World's Girls in 2010. Digital and Urban Frontiers: Girls in a Changing Landscape

    For girls, the new world of ICTs brings old and new, rich and poor, opportunity and danger, up against each other more dramatically, more immediately and perhaps more damagingly than in any other era. Access to new information technologies and the media has exposed young women to new ideas and ways of thinking that open up huge possibilities and potentially new dangers.

  • Women & Mobile: A Global Opportunity, A study on the mobile phone gender gap in low and middle-income countries

    Mobile phone ownership in low and middle-income countries has skyrocketed in the past several years. But a woman is still 21% less liekly to own a mobile phone than a man. Closing this gender gap would bring the benefits of mobile phones to an additional 300 million women. By extending the benefits of mobile phone ownership to more women, a host of social and economic goals can be achieved.

  • Connectivity: How mobile phones, computers and the internet can catalyze women's entrepreneurship. India: A Case Study

    Research focused on India to examine how ICTs are changing economic opportunities for poor and low-income women. India is a dynamic setting for three important trends: a rapidly expanding ICT sector, an increased role for women in the marketplace, and an emerging economic and policy environment poised for growth and social inclusion. The confluence of these trends is sparking a range of initiatives that use ICTs to engage women in business.

  • Portraits: A Glimpse Into the Lives of Women at the Base of the Pyramid

    The mobile industry – and indeed much of the world – knows little about the lives, struggles and aspirations of women at the BoP. Yet these women represent one of the largest opportunities for new users for the mobile industry, while also being the most likely to see real and substantial improvements in their lives through mobile services which could, for example, provide crucial healthcare information or give them the tools to set up businesses to move out of poverty.

  • Empowering Women through ICT

    The empowering use of ICTs is closely connected to socio-economic development, and this potential towards social transformation demands that everyone should have access. Prevailing inequalities in access to ICTs throughout the world suggest that many groups are hindered by their social and economic circumstances from developing a relationship with ICT. In relation to women, this inequality is referred to as "the gender digital divide".

  • Women in the Workplace

    Gender discrimination may be banned; in its place many women still encounter invisible and yet very real barriers to promotion and wage increases. As former president and CEO of Hewlett-Packard Carly Fiorina once said in an interview, "it's clear that there aren't enough women in business, and the stereotypes will exist as long as there aren't enough of us." Researchers at Thomson Reuters decided to examine gender equality within the workplace, using its ASSET4 database on environmental, social and corporate governance matters.

  • World Development Report 2012: Gender Equality and Development

    "The lives of girls and women have changed dramatically over the past quarter century. The pace of change has been astonishing in some areas, but in others, progress toward gender equality has been limited—even in developed countries.
    This year's World Development Report: Gender Equality and Development argues that gender equality is a core development objective in its own right. It is also smart economics. Greater gender equality can enhance productivity, improve development outcomes for the next generation, and make institutions more representative."

  • Gender, Information Technology and Developing Countries: An Analytic Study

    Information technology (IT) has become a potent force in transforming social, economic, and political life globally. Without its incorporation into the information age, there is little chance for countries or regions to develop. More and more concern is being shown about the impact of those left on the other side of the digital divide- the division between the information "haves" and "have nots." Most women within developing countries are in the deepest part of the divide further removed from the information age than the men whose poverty they share.

  • Revisiting Women's Participation in Science and Technology: Emerging Challenges and Agenda for Reform

    The 21st century is witnessing the ever-increasing role of science and technology in all aspects of life. Science and technology offer the prospect of finding solutions for may global challenges, including gender equality and the empowering of women. This report explores how women's role in advancing and using science and technology could be improved, and how science and technology impact women. Exploiting the talents of women should no longer be looked at only from the perspective of gender equality: governments should regard women's involvement in science and technology as an essential component of economic development.

  • Mobile Divides: Gender, Socioeconomic Status and Mobile Phone Use in Rwanda

    "We combine data from a field survey with transaction log data from a mobile phone operator to provide new insight into daily patterns of mobile phone use in Rwanda. The evidence in this paper suggests that phones are disproportionately owned and used by the privileged strata of Rwandan society."

  • Mobile Technology for Community Health in Ghana: What it is and what Grameen Foundation has learned so far

    Grameen Foundation's experience of designing and implementing a mobile health program in Ghana can provide insights for the broader field and specific implementation. A fundamental tenet of Grameen from program designs to management plans to failures.

  • Striving and Surviving: Exploring the Lives of Women at the Base of the Pyramid

    The mobile industry – and indeed much of the world – knows little about the lives, struggles and aspirations of women at the BoP. Yet these women represent one of the largest opportunities for new users for the mobile industry, while also being the most likely to see real and substantial improvements in their lives through mobile services which could, for example, provide crucial healthcare information or give them the tools to businesses to move out of poverty.

  • Realising the mWomen Opportunity: A Framework for Designing the mWomen Business Case

    The driving theory of the GSMA mWomen Programme is that if the mobile industry commercially focuses on the women consumer in emerging markets this will directly lead to social and economic gains for those women, their families and their communities. In order to achieve these objectives, the GSMA mWomen Programme worked throughout 2011 with mobile network operators (MNOs) in key markets to develop the mWomen opportunity and create a framework for understanding the key profitability drivers.

  • A Bright Future in ICTs Opportunities for a New Generation of Women

    The future of the ICT sector is exciting. These are unchartered waters open to creativity, innovation and entirely new ways of working, interacting and learning that should appeal to women and men alike. This summary report surveys the global trends in women's professional development and employment in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector, and offers a sample of the range of national policies, training programmes and initiatives targeting girls and women as potential students and professionals.

  • Training Manual on Gender and Climate Change

    Among development and environmental institutions, and in the climate change arena in general, there is a need to develop a common understanding of the linkages between gender and climate change, using a language that policy makers and climate scientists can understand. The training manual draws on existing in-house materials (research data, analyses and extracts from international frameworks) that have been adapted or expanded but also includes newly compiled case studies to illustrate the concepts in each module. Module 6 details gender-sensitive strategies on technology development.


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